The Fifth Sun

Mary Helen Lagasse

B i o g r a p h y : M a r y H e l e n L a g a s s e



Born and raised in New Orleans, Mary Helen Lagasse attended a catholic highschool and in 1978 graduated from Tulane University. She recieved her Bachelors Degree in 1978 and is recently working on recieving her Masters of Fine Arts degree at University of New Orleans. Mary Helen was born in America but her family is of latin decent. This makes Mary Helen a part of the people that struggle between two nations. She is bilingual and has learned to combine the best of both worlds. This trait has made her a national relatable writer who continues to write about life changing experiences.

Mary Helen did not just recieve awards without working for them. She worked as a teller, clerk at a bank, and a teacher. She taught Spanish and Literature at private schools in Metairie, Louisiana. Her works started being accomplished in 1987 with her short story essay "Survival of Species" published in the literary magazine of University of New Orleans.

Before her novels she continued to write essays, short stories, and articles. The ability to write about such diverse topics helps even more to become a more diverse relatable author. All these different aspects of life helped her create the magnificante novel The Fifth Sun. She now spends all her time writing her works and using life as inpiration. The Fifth Sun has been awarded the 2003 Miguel Marmol Prize, the 2004 Premio Atzlan Award, the 2005 Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, and Mary Helen was also a finalist for Book of the Year 2004.

Mary Helen is an active participant of the Words & Music Literary Conference held in New Orleans. She continues to write about her life in New Orleans and continues to be an influence in the literary world.



© Rosa Balaguer 2009
English IV Final Exam Project
Mrs. Wohl's English Class
May 12, 2009
Academy of the Sacred Heart
New Orleans, LA